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Stories that you confided to us

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Natalia Vasylenko

"The neighbors were all happy, "The most important thing is that you are alive!"

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On 5 February 2015, I woke up and heard a knocking sound. My doors opened like this and... I just heard a little knock. I didn't hear the explosion. I didn't hear it at all, I just heard some kind of knock. My door opened. I can still see it right before my eyes — the doors falling off, window falling, falls falling. All I knew was that I was sitting on the bed, and I couldn't get up.

The neighbors were all happy,

I sat there for how long, I don't remember, and then I kind of walked away a little bit. I went into the hall. I didn't look like myself. And there they are shouting from the street, "Are you alive?!" I said, "Yes, I'm alive." I didn't cry at all, not a a tear. I must have been shocked, I quess. I am a religious person. I thing God has spared me. I didn't even hear a sound. If I could hear the sound, I would go crazy.

Then the neighbors all ran away. They came in and looked. They told me, "Well, at least go outside." I went out. My neighbors met me and hugged me. The war has made us so close. We were so friendly all together. "The most important thing is that you are alive! The most important thing is that you are alive!" Everyone was shouting, everyone was happy.

I sympathize with people. Those who died, who was injured, who became disabled. I cry every time I hear someone's been killed. A guy was killed here. He went out when he was shot in the head. They they did not save him. His poor mother is not herself. Many of us have died here.

The shells flew at us four times in a row. The fourth entrance is completely broken. A shell flew through the window on the fifth floor, broke through the roof and floor to the fourth floor. Then we got four shells on the roof here. The last entrance generally fell into the basement. Apartments fell in the basement. It was scary.

When I watched a movie about the war on TV, I cried so much for women, for children, for everyone. I thought, "How did they live there, poor people? How did they get over this?" There you go. We have the same here.

I was born on 11 January. I was congratulated in our church and received gifts. I was so happy. Yes... here. I came home and wanted to feed the dogs. I love all the dogs, and I've been feeding them all these years. I took out the food to the dogs when an explosion happened! I heard something exploded. So I said, "Lord, Lord." I ran home and screamed… I've never heard such an explosion before. That was the first time we heard an explosion. It was scary. I heard thumping, bullets, tanks... it was terrible.

Once our boiler room was bombed. Now we won't have warm heating here. Many people died of starvation, and many died of cold. A lot of people died here. It was hard. Some people are trying to rise while others lost their courage. It depends on the person. If I thought, after all, "That's okay, we have to deal with what we have." No, I'm trying to get up in the morning. I'm trying to do something. I'm trying to help someone else.

The neighbors were all happy,

I'm not afraid of anything any more. Everything that happened to me must have hardened me.

When quoting a story, a reference to the source – the Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation – is mandatory, as follows:

The Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation https://civilvoicesmuseum.org/

Rinat Akhmetov Foundation Civilian Voices Museum
Krasnogorivka 2015 2020 Video Civilian's stories pensioners 2015 destroyed or damaged housing psychological injury shelling safety and life support elderly (60+)
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